The revival of You Can’t Take It With You, the Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy by Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman, has found a Broadway theater. The production will begin preview performances at the Longacre Theatre on Aug. 26 in advance of a Sept. 28 opening. As previously announced, Tony winner James Earl Jones (The Great White Hope, Fences) will star as Grandpa Martin Vanderhoff, the head of an eccentric family living in Upper Manhattan. Tony nominee Kristin Nielsen (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, currently appearing Off-Broadway in The Killer) will also star as Martin’s daughter Penelope. Original music for the play will be written by Drama Desk winner Jason Robert Brown (The Bridges of Madison County).
The comical plot is set in motion when Alice, Grandpa’s relatively “normal” granddaughter, falls in love with Tony Kirby, a straightlaced executive. A wild dinner party ensues when Tony’s stuffy parents drop in on the wrong date. The production will be directed by Tony nominee Scott Ellis (The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Curtains) who will also be helming Bradley Cooper in The Elephant Man on Broadway this fall.
One of the most popular plays in community and high school theaters, You Can’t Take It With You premiered on Broadway in 1936. It starred Henry Travers (Clarence the angel from It’s a Wonderful Life) and ran for 837 performances. The 1938 film version directed by Frank Capra starred James Stewart, Jean Arthur, Lionel Barrymore, and Ann Miller and won Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director. Two prominent Broadway revivals were presented in 1965 (with Rosemary Harris as Alice) and in 1983 (with Jason Robards, Elizabeth Wilson, Colleen Dewhurst and James Coco).